Introducing children from disadvantaged areas to the fascinating world of astronomy schools in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for London.
A pioneering science initiative supported by the BE OPEN foundation was held piloted in London schools in partnership with the Mayor’s Fund for London. The initiative aimed to introduce young people from disadvantaged areas to the fascinating world of astronomy.
Over the course of the project, school children from both London and Moscow joined professional astronomers from their respective countries, in order to exchange their astronomical experience and ideas during weekly conferences. The objective of this continued interaction is to create a wide network of enthusiastic young observers and researchers. In conducting their research under the expert tutelage of scientists from different countries, children discovered the universal laws of physics and realise that science truly knows no borders.
With ‘Discovery in a Week’ the students not only enhance their theoretical knowledge, but also make real astronomic discoveries. The stars they discover get recorded in the International Variable Star Index, while the coordinates of the asteroids detected are sent to the Minor Planet Center at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Harvard.
The latest edition of ‘Discovery in a Week’ identified four new stars, which are now officially named after pupils from the Hammersmith Academy who discovered them: Reynolds V1, Hamed V1, Mousa V1 and Mousa V2. The findings are recorded in the International Variable Star Index, where they are classified as W Ursae Majoris eclipsing binary variable stars in the Centaurus constellation. All the young astronomers have received certificates from the International Astronomical Registry documenting their stars.
As part of the programme, there were three showcase Discovery Days at London City Hall, when selected children from the London schools worked together to learn more about astronomy and look for new stars by analysing pictures produced by a powerful telescope in Australia.